FLEMINGTON - A parent has been banned from photographing athletic events at Hunterdon Central High School, and he says it’s a result of comments he has made on Facebook.
John Painter took photos from the sidelines for four years, tracking his children and eventually all of the school teams. Painter’s snapshots have been used in yearbooks, by other students and in local newspapers.
Painter was told in September that he was longer welcome to photograph athletics at the school. He claims the principal at the time told him it was because of Facebook. Painter admits criticizing a ban on strapless dresses that was enacted by the district. Painter emailed the superintendent, who appears to have told him that he posted inaccurate information but also said he was free to speak his mind.
The superintendent would not comment on whether the ban was related to Facebook, but issued a statement to News 12 New Jersey saying, “The reasons for our decision in this matter have been fully communicated to the individual. We make all decisions at Hunterdon Central with the best interests of the students in mind.”
Painter, who has 2,500 online followers, says the real victims are the students.
“We all had something special going here,” he says. “It was expected that these pictures would be taken. It's something we shared together.”